Readersforum's Blog

January 6, 2013

Re-inventing the indie bookstore — Menlo Park store tries hybrid business model

By Ileana Najarro

Independent bookstores in California are no longer just brick and mortar shops that sell books. To survive in the digital era, they are re-working their business models to provide something online competitors cannot: an engaging community space with non-profit partnerships.

The past few years of losses sparked the need for a change. Independent bookstore membership in the national trade group American Booksellers Association decreased from 2,400 to 1,900 between 2002 and 2011.

Praveen Madan, CEO of Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, understands the power of a supportive bookstore community in this day and age.

“The only communities that will end up having bookstores are communities that embrace the idea that they still need a bookstore,” Madan said.

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